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Computers and tape recorders do play a central role in [Hatzis'] compositions, but he has not given up on human performers, as three of these four pieces show. The Mega4 Meta4 is a fantasy for viola and electronics. Similarly, Byzantium is practically a three-movement oboe concerto with choral underpinnings. Crucifix can be heard as a wild piece of musical theater, with the theatrical element both inspired and realized by the singer. Certainly there's nothing mechanically cold and orbidding about any of this music. It's frequently unsettling, but that has more to do with the messages (at least as perceived by me) than with the medium.... While it's true that Hatzis doesn't seem to have much use for precious understatement, he chooses his targets with assurance and lets the arrows fly. Some of the disc's highlights are: 1) the beautiful interplay between the Albinoni Adagio and sonic snapshots of urban conflict in The Mega4 Meta4; 2) the subtle use of pure-sounding choral textures in Byzantium and Crucifix, and the way that these textures melt in and out of the (considerably more exotic) surrounding material; 3) Chari Polatos as the outrageous - and I mean that in the best sense of the word -celebrant in Crucifix; and 4) the burbling good-humor of The Temptation of Saint Anthony. Despite the fact that this last piece was inspired by Max Ernst's painting of the same title, I didn't find it at all frightening, except for the perversion of some choice Elizabethan sound bytes. The human performances are warm and wonderful, and the performers are to be commended for their support of music such as this. Polatos, who was killed in a car crash shortly after he completed his role in Crucifix, is the disc's dedicatee.
Raymond S. Tuttle (Fanfare reviewer), Internet Review (Rec.Music.Classical.Recordings) (USA)
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